Photo by Kevin Groskranz
(ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ) -- Cranston Dean will release his 6th album, Northern Town, on May 11, 2023. The singer-songwriter is sharing songs created over the span of several years and sharpened in front of live audiences in venues from New England to the Jersey Shore. The album will also be available for purchase on his website or from the artist directly at any of his shows in physical or digital form.
A single, "The Root," will drop on streaming platforms ahead of time on April 8th. The release show is set for May 28 at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, NJ.
Recorded in analog mostly at his parent’s house in Atlantic Highlands, you might think the album was a quarantine-era effort but Dean already got that out of his system with When it Rains in 2021. This was a celebration of being together post-pandemic, wherein Dean invited his inner circle of close musical friends and a few dogs to collaborate in a months-long house party. The sounds of the time shared can be heard throughout the album. Noises like an errant bark, a dog collar jingle, creaks in the floor, or a fork clink as someone in the background scrapes their plate clean of his Mom’s Chicken Marsala are all there for us to hear as if we were there. His Dad and girlfriend were recruited on the spot for background vocals, too.
Dean's songs are anecdotes and emotions that speak of love and loss, fear and happiness wrapped in the storyteller's own mix of melodies of Americana, folk, jazz, country, and pop. Everything you’d expect buddies and family to chat about around a dinner table. How often do we get all our loved ones together at once, without an added layer of holiday pressure, simply to talk? Not often enough, and perhaps not at all for some. So why not take a seat and get to know this group? You may be surprised at all you have in common with them. The soft crackle of an analog recording only heightens the beautiful expression and soul behind each note.
In a bittersweet twist, Northern Town’s tracks are the last recordings Dean’s bandmate Riley Schiro worked on before an untimely stroke sidelined him from playing for the near term. This made the wisdom of the house recording process all the more obvious; focus on making the memories first and the music will come. As Dean puts it, “This record is what happened in between day jobs, late gigs, shared meals, dog zoomie attacks and the purest form of quality time imaginable, in the comfort of my family home. I wouldn't have it any other way.”
Northern Town was recorded by Michael Young of North Shore Studios. It was mixed by Pat Noon @ EightSixteen and mastered by Alan Douches @ West Westside Music. The album artwork is by Alex Mackenzie.
The band is: Cranston Dean - Vocals, Acoustic, Keys; Riley Schiro - Electric Guitar, Backing Vox; Pat Conley - Bass, Backing Vox; Shane Luckenbaugh - Drums, Backing Vox; Max Carmichael - Slide Guitar, Dobro, Flute, Electric Guitar; with additional vocals by Allan Dean and Alex Mackenzie.